Lancashire Virtual School for Children Looked After |
The Virtual School for Children Looked After (CLA) sits within the Children and Young People Directorate.
There are currently approximately 1350 children in care who are the responsibility of Lancashire Authority. Of these, around 900 are educated in Lancashire's schools - we have 25 nursery, 484 primary, 84 secondary, 31 special and 14 short stay schools within the Authority.
Around 250 children are educated in schools in other Authorities. Lancashire County Council also has educational responsibilities for children who are resident in and / or educated in Lancashire and are looked after by other local authorities and these will be included within the longer term virtual school developments.
The Virtual School team consists of a Virtual School Head Teacher, 2 Education of Children Looked After (CLA) Consultants and a Data Manager.
The Virtual School plays a strategic role in ensuring the corporate parenting responsibilities of the Local Authority with regard to the education of CLA are met. The team offers support and advice to a range of professionals working with CLA and supports children through personal visits to schools.
Our overall aim is to improve educational outcomes and enhanced personal and social development in order to ensure that our CLA have better life chances.
Core Work of the Virtual School
- To promote the educational achievement of each CLA to Lancashire Local Authority, and CLA on roll in Lancashire schools who are the responsibility of other Local Authorities. (Thus fulfilling the legal requirements of the Authority as laid out in the Children Act 1989, amended 2004).
- To provide training for Designated Teachers, Social Workers and Carers, as required by the Children and Young Person's Act of 2008.
The work of the Virtual School can be summarised as follows -
- Monitor children coming into care, and leaving care.
- Monitor the educational progress of CLA.
- Providing training to Designated Teachers in schools.
- Developing systems to plan each child’s education – the Personal Education Plan (PEP).
- Where appropriate, act as an advocate for the child.
- Offer training to carers.
- Through a Personal Education Plan Support Allowance (PEPSA), provides extra resources for CLA who are underachieving.
- Acts as a conduit between agencies for sharing, pursuing and disseminating information relating to raising the attainment of CLA.
- Has access to the ISSIS database which holds current information about CLA.
- Offer advice, support and guidance relating to the education of CLA.
- Attend all Year 6 PEP meetings.
- Through regular contact with a school, to give support and advice during Ofsted inspections.
- Monitor the progress of CLA who have placement moves and changes of school.
- Offer training for staff in schools, regarding the issues CLA face; how their experiences are different from their peers and the best strategies to support the children.
- Support newly appointed Designated Teachers to develop good practice in supporting CLA in their school.
- Support Teaching Assistants who often work as the “Trusted Adult” for individual CLA.